Truman: A City at Sea

Story Number: NNS180212-24Release Date: 2/12/2018 10:27:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jordan Twiss, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Weighing more than 90,000 tons, this mighty warship can effortlessly glide through water at more than 30 knots. The self-sufficient, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) is a steel marvel.

It's a store, restaurant, police station, nuclear power plant, water plant, airport and home to more than 5,000 people.

What makes all of it possible? How can they feed all these Sailors for extended periods of time? What if equipment fails? What if they can't receive more supplies?... Easy, we make our own.

The most vital element on Earth which makes life possible is H20. Truman is capable of creating a massive 400,000 gallons of water on average per day.
Truman's reactor department is able to turn saltwater into potable water, which enables the engineering department to use it in a variety of ways throughout the ship.

"The water does so much for us," said Master Chief Machinist's Mate Ramon Marte, Truman's engineering department leading chief petty officer. "It goes to our air conditioning, which can be for the comfort of our Sailors, or to keep our machinery from overheating. The list goes on-and-on."

Marte said the water goes through a six-stage distillery plant that then makes it viable for human consumption. With nearly an endless supply of water, and Sailors with vast naval knowledge, it's not easy to deter the Truman from completing its mission.

Truman has the supplies to fix almost any mechanical issue in almost any situation the ship could face, including the ships with whom they deploy.

"Not only are we prepared for our own repairs, just a couple days ago we flew some Sailors off of our ship so they could help make mechanical repairs on a different ship," said Marte. "There aren't a lot of ships that have the technical expertise or personnel that we have."

"We're basically a strike group intermediate repair activity," said Cmdr. Michael Thompson, Truman's chief engineer. "We can self-sustain the entire ship, we can do anything from welding to braising, fixing AC plants to fixing air-conditioning in different areas throughout the ship. We do our part to keep this 5-star restaurant, 5-star hotel, warfighting machine going."

Each department has its own specific procedures to put into action should the ship be in a position where pulling into port or receiving more supplies is not possible.

"My division alone has enough storage compartments to hold hundreds of thousands of pounds of food," said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Daryl Smith. "If a situation were to occur where we couldn't restock, we have plans in place to make sure our supplies last."

The supplies Truman keeps on-hand is a long list that covers everything from broccoli to ballcaps.

"We make sure the crew has everything they need on board in terms of personal needs," said Ensign Bryan Prohaska, Truman's Supply S-3 division officer. "We have toiletries, personal snacks, anything they could need on a daily basis. Not only does this help keep the Sailors mission ready, but it also raises morale, which is always important."

Truman, the winner of the 2016 Battle "E" Efficiency award, has answers for not only supplies, but almost every other situation.

"We're ready to go," said Chief Master-at-Arms Caitlin Swenson, security department's operations leading chief petty officer. "We're always ready and we have a really good, dedicated, highly-trained team on this ship. We prepare for countless situations in numerous locations."

Truman's security department has Sailors from multiple departments throughout the ship temporarily assigned duty (TAD) to them while in-port. Once the ship goes underway, most of those TAD Sailors go back to their original division.

"I believe fully that if we were put in a bad spot while underway, everyone who is or has been in security would be ready to react the way we trained them to." said Swenson.

With the training staying constant, Truman's ability to remain self-sufficient doesn't seem likely to end anytime soon.

Truman is currently underway conducting its composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), the final stage of pre-deployment workups for the strike group. For USS Harry S. Truman, the evolution caps off more than seven months of training to ensure the ship and crew are ready to deploy.

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit

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